Jaw Feels Out of Place on One Side — What do I do?

Do you think your jaw feels out of place on one side? It might be because you have a dislocated jaw. When your jaw is dislocated, it moves out of its usual position. Our temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are in front of our ears, and they connect the lower part of the jaw to our skull. When you dislocate your jaw, it has moved away from one or both TMJ joints.

What Are the Indications of a Dislocated Jaw?

When your jaw cartilage is out of place, it can interfere with your daily activities like sleeping and eating. Thus, it is better to see a doctor as soon as your jaw feels out of place on one side or both. A dislocated jaw might come with the following symptoms:

  • TMJ joint pain that aggravates when you move your jaw
  • Your teeth don’t level correctly, causing changes in your bites
  • Trouble while talking
  • Trouble in closing your mouth or moving your jaw
  • Problems in speaking and swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Jaw locks
  • Jaw sticking out

Reasons Your Jaw Feels Out of Place On One Side

You should always visit your dentist if your jaw feels out of place on one side or both.

Usually, the dislocated jaw is a result of an injury. A dislocated jaw might be due to accidents, falling, getting hit on the face, etc. Other than this, you can dislocate your jaw if you open your mouth too wide. You might hear that someone’s jaw popped out of place while eating, it may not seem like it, but it is true! And if you wonder, ‘Can you dislocate your jaw by yawning?’, the answer is: yes. You can dislocate your jaw due to injury or opening your mouth too wide while eating, yawning, having a dental procedure, and more.

Treatments for Dislocated Jaw

You should drop by your dentist as soon as you think your jaw feels out of place, whether on one side or both. Remember: don’t try popping the jaw back in place yourself; you might cause even more problems. There are different professional treatments for an out-of-place jaw. Your oral or maxillofacial surgeon might:

  • Suggest nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen to reduce the pain and swelling in your jaw.
  • Pop the jaw back into place. First, they will give you numbing medication, as restoring the position of a dislocated jaw might require firmly pressing it into place by applying pressure.
  • Use bandages to limit jaw movement so it can heal with no complications.

Meanwhile, you can try the following to speed up the recovery:

  • Steer clear of any activity that might end up in facial trauma or jaw injury
  • Cold compresses to the affected area where the jaw feels out of place
  • Avoid munching on chewy or hard food
  • Limited yawning
  • Avoid opening your mouth wide several weeks following the dislocation

What is the Take-Away?

You must get immediate medical attention if your jaw feels out of place on one side. Remember not to attempt popping it back in place by yourself. Our dental specialists at Waller Dental can help. Pick up your phone and dial 936-372-2673.

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